SA, Zim talk business

Friday, March 30, 2012

Pretoria - South African and Zimbabwean business should work together in order to create employment, Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Elizabeth Thabethe said.

"Let us work together to grow the two economies and create much needed job opportunities and a better life for all our peoples. Out of this session, we expect to see further growth in trade and investment between South Africa and Zimbabwe," said Thabethe at the end of a trade and investment initiative (ITI) in Zimbabwe.

She was speaking at a business seminar at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Bulawayo on Thursday, which was attended by over 250 business people from South Africa and Zimbabwe.

According to Minister Rob Davies, the objectives of the ITI are to create market penetration for South African value added products and services as well as to promote South Africa as a trade and investment destination.

Thabethe said South Africa was positioned as a manufacturing centre of excellence.

"We are world leaders in environmental technology; we have a world class ICT sector and are the largest financial services hub for the region. Within Africa, South Africa also hosts the largest transport equipment cluster and a major creative industries centre.

"We are one of the most sophisticated and lucrative emerging markets in the world. We have political and economic stability, as well as sound macro-economic management."

Opportunities for investment also existed in Matebeleland and Bulawayo, said Sheila Sidambe, vice-president of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce.

These included the manufacturing sector, which she said, was currently operating at reduced capacity; investing in distressed existing companies; expansion of the tourism infrastructure through new investments and joint ventures with existing players; mining, agriculture, transport and information and communication technology sectors.

"The government estimates US$1 billion is required to revive industry in the country's second largest city, Bulawayo. This figure tells us that Matabeleland presents several investment opportunities for foreign investors.

"We invite you to partner us in various sectors as we continue on our Economic Growth Path," said Sidambe.